CILEx Careers

Interviews & Selection Days

Interviews and selection days

Key to a successful selection day/interview is preparation and practice.

Preparation
If you are invited to a selection day/interview, read any documentation that is sent to you detailing what is involved. Make sure you know:

  • The format of the day is
  • What you are required to do
  • Where it is being held
  • How you will get there
  • What you need to bring with you

Documents
Take the following with you for reference on the day:

  • Application details
  • Copy of the application form you filled in when you applied for the job
  • Your CV
  • Job description and person specification for the job

Presentation folder
Put together a folder containing:

  • Qualifications
  • Awards
  • Any recognition of achievements
  • Letters of praise

Keep this folder up to date as it can be used in the future for any subsequent interviews.

Proof of identity documents
You may be required to bring along proof of identity to the interview. Make sure you have the correct documents to take along to the interview. This is usually detailed in the invitation documents sent out to you. It is worth keeping your proof of identity documents together for future use.

LinkedIn
If you have a LinkedIn profile make sure it is up to date and is consistent with the information you have supplied on the application form and on your CV.

Location
Where is the interview taking place? Make sure you have allowed enough time to get to the interview in good time. How are you going to get there? If it is some distance from you, do you need to book accommodation? Are there any arrangements for overnight accommodation? How long will the interview take – allow enough time for possible delays so you don’t have to rush off to put more money in the car park or leave to get a train.

For more information on preparing for interviews see the National Careers Service article on Pre Interview Checklist

Types of interviews
There are various types of interviews used in the selection process:

The face-to-face interview
This type of interview is where you are interviewed by one or two people.

The panel interview
The number of people on a panel interview will vary, but usually there are between two to five people, with one person chairing the interview.

The group interview
This type of interview will involve you interacting with other candidates. This can be through a group discussion and/or a task. See this blog on Simply Hired

The telephone interview
This type of interview is usually used for initial screening of candidates. First impressions count and you need to prepare for it like a face-to-face interview, as questions may range from basic fact finding to more in depth discussion. Try to establish how long the interview is likely to take as you will need somewhere quiet, private, where you won’t be disturbed and with a good phone connection. For more tips see this Guardian article

The web based video interview
As technology develops some organisations are using web based video technology including Skype for job interviews. As with telephone interviews you need to prepare for this like a face-to-face interview. Think about where the interview will take place, what will the interviewer see (consider your appearance and the tidiness of the room you are using). Make sure you are not going to be disturbed and that your computer and internet connection are working. For further information see Right Management and the BBC

The competency based interview
This is a style of interviewing often used to evaluate a candidate's competence. Make sure you are familiar with techniques such as STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result). For further information on using the STAR technique in competency interviews see this Guardian article

Interview questions
A key to success at interview is anticipating what questions you may be asked.
Look at the job description and person specification – what questions might they ask based on these. Draw up a list and practice your answers.

For further information and examples of interview questions please see the links below:

Interviews – Law
Austen Lloyd
University of Kent
Inside Buzz

Interviews – General information
Prospects
National Careers Service

Making a presentation
Does the selection process involve you having to make a presentation? Are you required to bring your presentation on a memory stick or does it have to be emailed in prior to the interview? It can be useful to have a hard copy of your presentation for reference.

For tips on making a presentation at a job interview see Monster.co.uk

Selection tests
Some organisations will use selection tests as part of the selection process. This can include:

Psychometric tests – these can cover aptitude, personality and ability
Tasks – you may be asked to do tasks with other applicants to see how you work in a team and with other people

For further information see these articles:
Prospects
Target Jobs